Monday, July 25, 2022


Hadewijch (c.1200―c.1260) is a poet and Christian mystic who lived in what is now Belgium. She was head of a group of young beguines ― women who lived a life devoted to God in communal houses, although not as a religious order.

It is believed she came from a wealthy family, because her writing demonstrates a wide knowledge of theology, languages, and literature ― including French courtly poetry.

The following English version was translated by Columba Hart. The Latin, as carried over from the original Dutch poem, basically means ― "Ah, if I wish you a thousand times happiness, it would not be enough."

God Must Give us a Renewed Mind (from Vale Millies)

God must give us a renewed mind
--------For nobler and freer love,
To make us so new in our life
--------That Love may bless us
And renew, with new taste,
--------Those to whom she can give new fullness;
Love is the new and powerful recompense
--------Of those whose life renews itself for Love alone.
― Ay, vale, vale, millies ―
--------That renewing of new Love
― Si dixero, non satis est ―
--------Which renewal will newly experience.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.